Poultry Association president calls on the Ministry of  Agriculture to help farmers
ADRIAN LEWIS, president of the local Poultry Association (left), with Saboto Caesar, agriculture minister (second from left), Renato Gumbs, deputy chief agricultural officer, (centre), Orande ‘Aka’ Johnson, chef (second from right) and Dixton Findlay, deputy chief education officer (right).
News
January 10, 2020
Poultry Association president calls on the Ministry of Agriculture to help farmers

The president of the local Poultry Association has called on the Ministry of Agriculture to help farmers to enhance the industry, amidst the current glut of eggs on the market.

The glut was made public on Monday, following a call by agriculture minister, Saboto Caesar for Vincentians to start consuming more eggs.

One day after, it was announced that Camillo Gonsalves, the finance minister, had budgeted for the purchase of 210,000 eggs to donate to various institutions, leaving just over 100,000 left in storage.

“I want to say thanks to the government. Thanks for coming at a time when we really need help,” Adrian Lewis, the president of Poultry Association in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Lewis said that during the Christmas season, the poultry farmers accomplished something by avoiding the importation of chickens and eggs.

And while that is good for the country from an economic stand point, it has potential to be detrimental to farmers, who would have to lower their prices in order to get their product sold.

“A lot of us in the production would know that what we are selling this egg at, some of us not even cutting the cost to produce it,” he said. “What I saw on the ground, we are in for a ride. The consumer will smile all the way, but the farmers going to be drained and some of us might even fall out along the way because I don’t think, no farmer in this country, I don’t care how big you be, no farmer in this country cannot survive selling the eggs at $13.”

Lewis listed some of the expenses involved in being a poultry farmer; paying workers, buying chicken feed and the crates for the sale of eggs.

The association president called for help from a ministerial standpoint in getting a space for farmers to sell eggs, a chill room and overall assistance with costing.

He also called on farmers who are not a part of the Poultry Association to make an effort to be a part of the organisation so that everyone can benefit.

“It’s a good thing we have going and in order to keep this good thing going, I think we need to organise. Now is the time. Now is the time for us to organise ourselves and move this thing forward,” Lewis said.

“I think if we as country could achieve cutting this import, we could also achieve working together to produce this egg…once the farmers work together and the ministry help us, one day, we will be able to run this thing and run it on our own.” (See also Searchlight Midweek of January 7, 2020 – https://searchlight.vc/searchlight/front-page/2020/01/07/eat-more-eggs-minister-urges-vincentians/)